Experience the raw emotion and gravitas of fine art from around the world, even in Virtual Reality, without ever having to leave your room with thanks to Google Arts & Culture.
Thanks to a recent partnership between Google and some of the worlds most prestigious art museums and galleries, art lovers can now experience their favorite galleries without having to leave their home. With a virtual reality viewer like Google Cardboard, you can use the Google Arts & Culture app to take a virtual tour of the street art scene in Rome; step inside a creation by famous street artist, Insa; or even travel 2,500 years back in time and look around the ancient Greek temple of Zeus. We previously posted about this initiative here with regards to the 360 degree tour of the Sydney Opera House.
With these new tools, you will be able to discover breathtaking works and artifacts, allowing you to immerse yourself in cultural experiences across art, history and wonders of the world – from more than a thousand museums across 70 countries:
• Search for anything, from shoes to all things gold
• Scroll through art by time – see how Van Gogh’s works went from gloomy to vivid
• Browse by color and learn about Monet’s 50 shades of gray
In an effort to bring art appreciation to under privileged areas of the world, Google has partnered with 151 museums and art institutions from 40 countries, and is available in 18 languages which truly holds up the adage that “Art is the only true universal language”. Currently the platform allows users to take a virtual gallery tour, View specific artworks, create an artwork collection of your own, enjoy video and audio guided tours much like you would experience at the actual museum, as well as educational tools and resources for teachers and students.
While initial reception to the initiative has been positive, eliciting piercing debate from scholars, museum personal and art/news writers alike, there has been some criticism. Among the praise given to the project, many noted that the easily accessible nature of the art works, would result in increased numbers of people physically visiting the museums and galleries in the project, and as such would help foster a greater educational interest in the arts. Another positive is that with the Internet being an equal and open playing field, it would then allow any and all to access information on art and not have it controlled by the elite groups of experts and art professionals.
Of the criticism however, some pointed to the fact that there seems to a a skewed selection of content in its primarily western focused art and art institutions, however Google has been actively working to address this concern.
“Just as the world’s precious artworks and monuments need a touch-up to look their best, the home we’ve built to host the world’s cultural treasures online needs a lick of paint every now and then. We’re ready to pull off the dust sheets and introduce the new Google Arts & Culture website and app, by the Google Cultural Institute. The app lets you explore anything from cats in art since 200 BCE to the color red in Abstract Expressionism, and everything in between.” – From the website
So, without too much more delay, time to Meet Google Arts & Culture: